State law allows California workers to take medical leave without losing their jobs. It is important for employees to enforce this right, in order to eliminate discrimination and other violations of California labor law. Learn more from a CFRA attorney in San Francisco about your leave rights, how to take protected leave, and what to do if you believe your employment rights have been violated.
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is a state law that allows workers to take medical leave without losing their position. Once an employee has been with the employer of a certain size for twelve months and 1250 hours, he or she is eligible to take up to twelve weeks of leave in a twelve-month period. This leave can be taken all at once or on a staggered schedule.
In addition to CFRA, there is also a federal law protecting workers’ rights to take medical leave. This is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Like CFRA, an employee must have twelve months and 1250 hours of service with an employer in order to be eligible for protected leave. This leave can also be staggered over a twelve-month period, but it is important to understand that, in most instances, FMLA and CFRA leave run concurrently. In most instances, you cannot “stack” FMLA and CFRA to get 24 weeks of leave in a calendar year. If your leave qualifies under both laws, you will still be limited to twelve weeks of leave in a twelve-month period.
CFRA cannot be used any time an employee wants to take a leave of absence from a job. It is only available when the employee has a serious health condition or must care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition. CFRA may also be taken after the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child with the employee.
Because there are eligibility requirements for CFRA, it is important to document your leave properly with your employer. You will likely be asked to fill out forms confirming that you are eligible for CFRA leave. You might also need to provide documentation (such as a doctor’s note) to confirm that your leave is related to an eligible situation.
Some employers process CFRA requests without incident. If, however, your request is denied, or you believe your leave rights have been violated, it is important to consult with a CFRA attorney. A lawyer can help you prove your eligibility for CFRA leave. An employment lawyer will also be able to help you defend your leave rights if your employer persists in wrongfully denying your leave request or retaliates against you for requesting or taking CFRA or other medical leave.
No employee should have to fear for their job just for taking protected family leave. At Minnis & Smallets, we fight hard to protect San Francisco employees’ rights to take leave. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced CFRA attorneys. The sooner you get legal advice, the better protected your employment rights will be.